As I have been preparing my book requests for next school year, I have revisited something I’ve shared before regarding some principles for choosing reading material for classes. In “The Three Columns Revisited,” Mortimer Adler goes into greater detail on the nature of leading seminars in order to help correct some misconceptions about his previous discussion on the three columns from his great work The … Continue reading The Choice of Things to Be Read (Monday Musings)
This past week I had the opportunity to attend the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Providence, Rhode Island. The final paper I attended was not only one of the best of the conference, but also led to some further reflection that I think is helpful for our endeavors in classical Christian education. The presentation was given by John Dickson and it was … Continue reading Monday Musings (November 20, 2017): New Testament “Creeds” and Classical Christian Education
“What is needed today is a better understanding of the person not just as an individual but as someone who finds his or her true being in communion with God and with others” ~James Torrance, Worship, Community, and the Triune God of Grace, 38 Torrance’s quote is one I reflect upon often. As a strong advocate for the local church and God’s design for Christian community, … Continue reading Monday Musings (November 6, 2017): Is Education about the Individual?
“Education is our path to true humanity and wisdom” ~Stratford Caldecott, Beauty for Truth’s Sake, 11 One of the more difficult challenges with classical Christian education is clarifying our end goal. I wrote on this recently in my post “Is Repairing the Ruins our Goal?”, and I suggested that we have the two-fold goal of excellent education and Christian discipleship. In Beauty for Truth’s Sake, … Continue reading Monday Musings (October 30, 2017): Education, the Path to True Humanity?
I recently participated in a conference at fbcBranson entitled “Christianity and the Death of the Old Testament.” You can check out the excellent presentations here. As part of this conference, I was giving a presentation on how the Old Testament is dying. I relied heavily on the work of Brent Strawn in his book, The Old Testament is Dying, in which he argues that the … Continue reading Monday Musings (October 23, 2017): Education, the Church, and the Old Testament
This year I have begun occasionally giving my students writing prompts before class begins and allowing the first 5-6 minutes of class to be a time of reflection. I have found that in the midst of busy lives, loads of work, and everything else with which the teenage mind is occupied, it is absolutely necessary to remind them frequently why we do what we do. … Continue reading Monday Musings (October 16, 2017): Start Searching Today
The past several weeks I have been exploring the notion of meditation, first upon Scripture, but then suggesting that this could apply to the Great Books as well, albeit with a different authority. One of the ways we can meditate on the Great Books is by recognizing that we are not passive recipients of the Great Books but actually active participants in the same story … Continue reading Monday Musings (October 2, 2017): Meditating on the Great Books—Some Practical Steps
Last week I considered how we have tamed God’s Word instead of eating it. This week I continue the theme of meditating on the written word. One of the better insights of Eugene Peterson’s excellent book, Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading, is his proposal that spiritual reading is “participatory reading.” He uses the illustration of a period of life … Continue reading Monday Musings (September 25, 2017): Meditation as Participation
In the Preface to his Didascalicon, Hugh of Saint Victor observes that intellect comes to each man or woman in different measure. Some are blessed with a profound intellect, while “there are many persons whose nature has left them so poor in ability that they can hardly grasp with their intellect even easy things.” Of the latter he identifies two types of people: the one … Continue reading Monday Musings (September 4, 2017): Virtuous and Sinful Learners
“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” ~Ecclesiastes 1:9 The words of the Preacher in Ecclesiastes 1:9 are perhaps never as true as when one applies them to modern Christian storytelling, whether in fiction or the movies. The same stories are being told over and over again, … Continue reading Monday Musings (August 28, 2017): The Lost Art of Christian Storytelling
In his phenomenal work The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis writes regarding education what have become some of his most well-known and oft-quoted words: “For every one pupil who needs to be guarded from a weak excess of sensibility there are three who need to be awakened from the slumber of cold vulgarity. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down … Continue reading Monday Musings (August 21, 2017): Irrigating Deserts
This past Thursday I returned to work. Arriving early and walking down the empty hallways, it’s always an eerie feeling to think how soon they will be filled with hordes of teenagers. I thought about all of the things I needed to prepare before I was ready, and I knew I was further away than I had hoped. In the days that have followed, I … Continue reading Monday Musings (August 14, 2017): A Praying Professor